inking a cel

Making It Up As I Go Along: Phoebe Parsons on the “Terror Fervor” Process

This week we’re lucky to have a guest post from animator/filmmaker Phoebe Parsons! We shared her recent film, “Terror Fervor”, as a one of our favorite examples of contemporary animation on cels. Houston friends will also remember seeing Phoebe’s mixed media animation “Frankie and Mr. Boots Plug Out”, at our 2017 screening series, DIY Animation Spotlight.
In this guest post, Phoebe shares her studio tour, which was featured a couple weeks back on Episode 2 of the live stream variety show, Mixed Gems TV. And she walks us through the novel cel animation process she used on “Terror Fervor”. Thanks for being here, and take it away Phoebe! -Dave MH

inking a cel on a makeshift light board
[An old monitor from Craiglist as a light board! We love this solution. 🙂 -Ed.]

After mocking up a bunch of monster drawings, I drew the six minute animation front to back with pencil on plain printer paper. The whole thing is a study of movement and seeing how many cool morphing transitions I could come up with. Because cels are expensive, I bought in bulk those overhead transparency rolls we used to use in school, the kind that come on 50’ long rolls.

Thousands of paintings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
drying cels

You can check out more of Phoebe’s work on her website, Vimeo or Instagram!
You can learn more ways of working with cels (and “cels”) via Ingo Raschka (whose zine started this whole conversation), DIYAC’s RESULTING writeup, and Anna Firth.